Board urges census management improvements

In a break from the partisanship that has surrounded the 2000 census, the Census Monitoring Board Wednesday released a joint report to Congress making 18 unanimous recommendations to improve census operations.

"While there remain significant disagreements on many aspects of the census policy, the goal on which we all can agree is that of producing the most accurate possible census in the year 2000," the report said.

The eight-member panel urged Congress to relax employment restrictions to allow non-citizens to apply for census enumerator jobs, while recommending that the bureau establish standardized procedures for all personnel and temporary employees, form local partnerships to promote the census, and set up regional questionnaire assistance centers and distribute census forms widely to the public.

Many of the recommendations target staffing for hard to enumerate areas, which tend to be urban and minority populations. The report, which was due last Thursday, comes out a year before the official April 1, 2000, start date for the census.

The recommendations represent the common ground on the committee, but do not resolve the fundamental disagreement over statistical sampling.

Republicans have opposed the bureau's plan to use sampling for redistricting and other purposes, but the bureau and the Clinton administration, backed by congressional Democrats, plan to go forward with sampling while also conducting a more traditional count for apportionment purposes.

The board's cochairmen-former Democratic House Majority Whip Coelho and GOP Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell-wanted to issue the joint report after their first report, released in late January, came out in Republican and Democratic versions. The first report came out just days after the Supreme Court ruled the bureau could not use its statistical sampling plan for House apportionment; the bureau interprets the decision as allowing them to use sampling for redistricting and other purposes.

Charged with evaluating the bureau's implementation of the 2000 census, the board was the product of a compromise reached by House Republicans and President Clinton in the fiscal 1998 Commerce-Justice- State appropriations bill.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.